Monday, 26 March 2012

Your Nutshell Sell -introductions when selling solutions

Philip Stanley - TACK International
Back at Scarman House today, Warwick Conferences in Coventry to run a TACK PRO-PAYBACK Selling 3 day programme with my colleague Philip Stanley. Wonderful  spread of businesses represented.
Most of the delegates  are a little nervous about introductions and standing up and introducing themselves so Phillip and I get them to interview each other and let the interviewer describe the colleague they interviewed.

Stand Up and be counted:

As  they their career as salespeople progresses they know that they will  often  be expected to introduce ourselves to prospects, at networking events, at presentations, pitches and even further training courses.

Because we reckon we know how to speak and  have had an education we often think we are ' bright ' enough and the words will come to mind. to blag an introduction. 

Well for many of us the right words don't come that easily 

If you have a shy personality this initial introduction can feel like a torture. Indeed the expression ' has the cat got your tongue?'  derives from the cat o nine tails flog that the Royal Navy used to discipline sailors. Apparently the sailors had to to even make his own cat o nine tails from rope. It was thrown away after punishment.)
Hugh Alford - TACK International

Well we can avoid the cat getting our tongue by PREPARING.
There is a phrase in English often used to by clients to communicate to us a plea for brevity it goes

" In a nutshell....." 

Enclosing key communication in a nutshell has a long history.

(The Dalriadic King of Scots used to issue new laws in a Nutshell from Kilmartin Priory, Argyll in 465 BC. The shell protected the delicate parchment inside.)

The client wants to crack our shell to obtain the nut.  Our shell case must be sufficiently attractive and inviting. Maybe we have a wonderful selection of Bowl overflowing with Solution Nuts to offer our client  with easy to  open pistachios through  easy crackable walnuts , almonds and hazelnuts through to the more challenging Brazil nuts ( OK Pistachios and Brazil are not strictly nuts in the biological sense but you get the point)  . 

Our nutshell sell has a lot to do with an inviting shell case.

1. Ensure you nut casing is not made of unnecessary negatives
In his super book " Drop the Pink Elephant" by Bill MCFarlane the author points out how we often we include in our conversation unnecessary negatives in our conversation

e.g. "I'm not really in Sales ....

" I don't really sell......

" I am not really trying to sell you anything....

so often means of course the above mean the opposite - They mean actually  I AM IN SELLING"

2. Don't  over hype your nutshell casing

If we are not in denial the case of our nut shell can be overhyped.

The new series of the Apprentice clocked in 6 million viewers last Wednesday night to see some their hyped introductions . Of course this showed is contrived  TV entertainment but the sixteen candidates reveal their business philosophies and personal shell cases to be captured on the trailers to the programme.

"I am a master puppeteer - I pull all the strings"

"I am the blonde Assasin..".

"I am like a shark right at the top of the food chain."

Are such  statements indicators of who might win the £250,000 Lord sugar wants to invest watch this space? They sound more like old school elevator pitches.

Notice how  many of the participants in the new series of the Apprentice feel are asked to introduce themselves to Lord Sugar. 

First impressions do count.  You also that you will be expected to do these short introduction prospects, at networking events, at presentations, pitches and even training courses so why not prepare your your nutshell sell.

Here is a process guide that you will find helpful:-

For example when prospecting  Prepare your thought around these 8  points to give your nutshell focus.
1 Focus your nutshell sell around the person within the prospect who is most likely to suffer from the problem you can solve, and who is likely to initiate the buying decision process. You can describe the role by title (“Finance Director”) or function (“Head of Finance”)

2 Your Ideal Prospect is the sort of organisation you would like to do business with. Your focus may need to reflect demographic, structural, behavioural or environmental considerations. Keep it simple

3 Focus on the most valuable problem that your solution can solve for them. This could be a current pain point, an as-yet unmet goal, or an opportunity that they are trying to exploit - what keeps them awake at night

4  Use the product or service name of your solution

5 What category of solution does your offering fit into? You must use a category the prospect would recognise

6 What is the most important business benefit they will derive from using your solution - the primary motivation for buying?

7 What would your prospect consider to be the most likely alternative approach (this could be a competitor, or it might just as likely be an in house solution, etc.) to solving the problem?

8 Identify the one thing - preferably something that is highly relevant to the prospect, that you do particularly well, and which would be hard for anyone else to copy or claim - that sets you apart from all the other options available to the prospect

 A template to crack your nutshell sell ( using the 8 points about insert the appropriate words)
In a nutshell ….
1.       "We work with...
2.       In...
3.       Who are trying to...
4.       Our...
5.       Is a....
6.       That  enables them to...
7.       Unlike...
8.       Which sets us apart ..."

Shakespeare’s Hamlet declares, "O God, I could be bounded in a nutshell, and count my selfe a King of infinite space."
The Dalriadic King of Scots used to issue new laws in a Nutshell from Kilmartin Priory, Argyll in 465 BC. The shell protected the delicate parchment inside.

Related links

Drop the  pink elephant by Bil McCalren  ISBN 1-84112-479-6 PUBLISHERS A CAPSTONE

1 comment:

  1. I visit more often for updates, keep up the great work!